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Grosskurth, P. (1987). An interview with Herbert Rosenfeld. Free Associations, 1(10):23-31.

(1987). Free Associations, 1(10):23-31

An interview with Herbert Rosenfeld

Phyllis Grosskurth

This interview with Dr Rosenfeld was conducted when he was recovering from a skiing accident, on 13 March 1982. My impression of him on this and subsequent occasions was of a man of enormous energy, enthusiasm, and great courtesy. He took his profession very seriously, but he never lost his sense of fun; and one of his delightful characteristics was his ability to laugh at himself. Although I did not know him well, he could not have been kinder and more helpful to me. I felt a personal sense of loss when he died.

If you could tell me how you first came to know Mrs Klein, and your association with her, and then your reaction to her concepts and how your own concepts developed, and finally, your evaluation of her contribution to the psychoanalytic movement.

That's quite a mouthful. [laughs] I won't be able to answer it all. But I'll try to tell you from the beginning, and you have just to select from that what perhaps will interest you.

You have to remember that I came to England after being thrown out by the Nazis and just succeeded in being accepted for one year's work in Guy's Hospital for the English examination. That was in the year 1935. But when I qualified in the autumn of 1936, they told me to go to India, or to Australia, because I was too young and had no experience; of course, in Germany I actually had not, because I wasn't allowed to touch the patients very much.

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